Environmental rights advocates have urged wealthy nations to follow through on their financial commitments made as part of the Paris Climate Agreement in order to help impacted people, particularly those in vulnerable locations, adapt to the disastrous effects of climate change.
The campaigners made their demand on Saturday, September 16, 2023, during this year’s World Cleanup Day (WCD) in Abuja, where they advocated for a coordinated global response to address this global environmental crisis.
Mr. Ayodeji Omilabu, administrative director of Plogging Nigeria, believes that collaboration between international groups, the private sector, civil societies, faith-based organisations, and grassroots movements is essential to achieving this lofty goal.
“We must hold rich nations accountable for the commitments they made in international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” he said.
According to him, wealthy countries should honour African countries’ requests, particularly the 2023 Nairobi Declaration of the just concluded African Climate Summit (ACS), to address this global problem.
Omilabu, whose establishment organised a street walk they dubbed “Ploggathon,” in collaboration with the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and other environmental coalitions, hinted that they did so to commemorate the 2023 WCD by educating the public about the value of environmental protection.
The Plogging administrative helmsman feels that through this initiative, they may raise worldwide attention to challenges afflicting Nigeria and Africa by increasing further interactions that accelerate climate solutions.
He went on to stress that the WCD is not only about picking up trash and cleaning the environment; rather, it was established to raise awareness of the need to address the underlying causes of ecological deterioration.
“It is about taking meaningful steps to combat climate change, supporting vulnerable communities, and ensuring a sustainable and resilient future for all,” Omilabu stated in an effort to draw attention to how climate action can be promoted.
Felicia Dairo, CJID’s climate change project manager, described the WCD as a significant global event that is solely dedicated to highlighting the critical need to confront the escalating environmental challenges afflicting the planet and encouraging collective responsibility towards a sustainable future for future generations.
“World Cleanup Day is more than just doing clean-ups or picking up trash,” she explained. “It is also about a strong and distinct network of doers who share the vision of a waste-free world.”
Dairo praised the attendees for their participation in commemorating the event, which she said has strengthened them as a collective force poised to expedite environmental safeguards across the country and beyond.
The CJID climate change project manager asked the public to view the WCD as an opportunity to work together to achieve a cleaner, healthier world for all.
Together, she says, “we can significantly impact our communities and help create a more sustainable future.”
Carina Greiff, the deputy head of mission at the Swedish Embassy in Abuja, lamented that plastic and nylon waste in our landfills causes significant damage to the soil and has an impact on agricultural production.
She bemoaned the fact that millions of different types of waste are being dumped around on Nigerian streets, which, she claims, takes the actions of one person to reserve and cause people to shift their ideas and see things differently.
The Swedish embassy, according to the diplomat, has always partnered with Plogging Nigeria in their various activities as part of efforts to improve civic education in the country on good waste management and environmental conservation.
“Thank you for being an inspiration to your friends and family.” Greiff stated, “You are the movement.”
By Nsikak Emmanuel, Abuja